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2014 Holiday Party Recap

Three Awards Presented at 2014 Annual Party
APS Technology, Inc. Honored with 2014 Innovation Excellence Award 

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Crossroads Venture Group, in partnership with the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC), presented various awards at its annual Holiday Party which took place December 11 at the University of Bridgeport.

The Innovation Excellence Award went to CTC member company APS Technology, Inc. APS joins what is now a long list of previous year winners that have included ATMI, Inc of Danbury, Pitney Bowes of Stamford, FuelCell Energy of Danbury, Open Solutions Inc (now Fiserv, Inc.) of Glastonbury, Sonalysts, Inc of Waterford, United Technologies Corporation, ESPN of Bristol, Tangoe, Inc of Orange, Rogers Corporation of Rogers and 2013 winner Alexion Pharmaceuticals of Cheshire.

The Innovation Excellence Award, now in its eleventh year, is given to a Connecticut Technology Council member company that has displayed technology leadership in its industry vertical, increased its market share, expanded its workforce and has been recognized for innovation by its peer or trade groups and industry analysts.

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APS Technology, Inc. was founded in 1993 by its current president, William Turner, to provide contract engineering services to the oilfield drilling industry. APS Technology has since grown into a leading provider of MWD/LWD, drilling & optimization (rotary steerable and drilling dynamics), and vibration management products for oil and gas drilling. APS has deep engineering expertise in the design, development and manufacture of oilfield electromechanical, instrumentation, sensor and software products, shock and vibration isolation designs, stress analysis for static and rotating conditions, and mechanical and electronics analysis for harsh environments. APS’s customers include all of the major integrated multinational oilfield service companies, independent directional drilling companies, MWD service companies and oilfield companies engaged in non-drilling related services.

Receiving the 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award was, John Schuyler, a partner at Marcum LLP, a prominent Connecticut public accounting and advisory services firm. Schuyler played a role in helping CTC conceptualize and launch the Tech Top 40 program begun in 2009. Schuyler John is also well known for his many trade mission visits to China’s Shandong province, Connecticut’s sister state for some 25 years now.

CTC’s third award was given to Liddy Karter who has been the Crossroads Venture Group’s (CVG) part-time Executive Director for the last four years.‎ While heading CVG, Karter has overseen several programmatic changes. Her mission was to deliver better events and content and more meaningful networking for the start-ups, investors and service providers who attend and support CVG events. Karter will now devote herself more fully now to her role as Managing Director at Enhanced Capital Partners, a national asset management firm providing investment capital to small businesses that are underserved by traditional sources of financing.

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Crossroads Venture Group presented its annual Founders Award to Peter Longo of Connecticut Innovations. Longo is a senior managing director of investments at Connecticut Innovations, Inc. (CI) who has spent nearly 20 years in numerous roles at CI, including as President. In his current position, Longo is currently responsible for evaluating investment opportunities, structuring investments and monitoring portfolio companies at CI.

The Connecticut Technology Council elected four new board members to three-year terms Thursday evening. New board members are:

Derek Koch – CEO and Founder, Independent Software

Severine Zygmont – President, OPM Biomedical

Martin Seifert – President, Nufern Inc.

Charles Scharnagle – CIO, Mohegan Tribe of the Indians of CT

Check out Event Photos

Event photos

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Guidance in Exchange for Equity Stake

“Accelerated Ventures Inc. — Acc-Ven, for short — offers financial guidance and legal services to startups in exchange for equity stakes. Joel Hartstone, president of Stonegate Capital Co., and Cohn Birnbaum Managing Partner Michael Mulpete envision their venture as a model for not only investing in fledgling companies with promising technology but also as a means of cultivating new and lasting professional-client relationships.”

“We think this has a multifaceted application in terms of where law firms are going and how business is done in today’s economy and the economy of the future,” said Hartstone.

Acc-Ven’s business accelerator model differs from a startup incubator, Hartstone said. While both exist to mentor startups in navigating the financing, regulatory and other nuances of building a business, an incubator is an actual brick-and-mortar site, with office space, furniture, equipment, etc. Acc-Ven isn’t offering that.”

Read more about Acc-Ven on HartfordBusiness.com

 

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New Law Draws Entrepreneurs to Spain

In September of 2013 Spain passed a new law to promote domestic business and attract new talent and innovation. More specifically, the law allows foreign entrepreneurs easier access to work visas assuming that they have health insurance and enough money to support themselves while in the country.

While setting up a business in Spain is not without its unique challenges, Stacia Carr, an entrepreneur who was quick to take advantage of the visa, notes that Spanish cities have lower costs and fewer competitors than places like London, Paris and of course the Silicon Valley Giant. Furthermore, the cost is a quarter of what it would be if she had stayed in California.

The new law, known as the Ley de Emprendedores, is the country’s last effort to attract fresh, wealthy minds and reverse a trend of high unemployment in a struggling economy. There are five visa categories under Ley de Emprendedores:

  • For investors who purchase at least 500,000 euros of real estate
  • For entrepreneurs who plan to establish businesses
  • For highly skilled professionals
  • For researchers, scientists, and teachers
  • For employees and trainees

Once approved, visa holders may move freely among most nations in the EU.

Stateside, awareness of Spain’s new Ley de Emprendedores has yet to spread. “The law is on the right track but needs measures that would make it a little more revolutionary,” said Juan Martínez-Barea, a Spanish biotechnology entrepreneur from Silicon Valley. He admitted that few individuals in his circles are aware of the new Spanish law to attract innovators, investors and professionals to the country.

Read the full story – New York Times

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The Failure of Innovation

“Innovation, by necessity, is inextricably linked with failure. The path to any success is lined with disasters. Most of the products that do make it out of the lab fail spectacularly once they hit the market. Even successful products will ultimately fail when a better idea comes along.” – This is the rather terrifying yet truthful observation of New York Times writer Adam Davidson regarding, innovation-harboring cities like Silicon Valley. Under the blanket of success and innovation there is also an equal rate of failure, an out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new attitude that can neither be avoided nor cured.

“An age of constant invention naturally begets one of constant failure. The life span of an innovation, in fact, has never been shorter. An African hand ax from 285,000 years ago, for instance, was essentially identical to those made some 250,000 years later.”

This article paints a picture of how innovation and growth has changed, drastically, since the industrial revolution:

“During the late 19th century, a series of experiments in organizational structure culminated, in the 1920s, with the birth of General Motors, the first modern corporation. Its basic characteristics soon became ubiquitous. Ownership, which was once a job passed from father to son, was now divided among countless shareholders. Management, too, was divided, among a large group of professionals who directed units, or “subdivisions,” within it. The corporation, in essence, acted as a giant risk-sharing machine, amassing millions of investors’ capital and spreading it among a large number of projects, then sharing the returns broadly too. The corporation managed the risk so well, in fact, that it created an innovation known as the steady job. For the first time in history, the risks of innovation were not borne by the poorest. This resulted in what economists call the Great Compression, when the gap between the income of the rich and poor rapidly fell to its lowest margin.”

Read the full New York Times article 

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New Startup Raises $100 Million

Jonathan Rothberg’s new startup raises $100 million! rothberg

The device is a portable ultrasound scanner. It’s the size of an iPhone and will allow the user to hold the device up to a person’s chest and see vivid, moving 3-D images of what’s going on inside. This innovation is set to rock the medical imaging industry, making it as cheap, if not cheaper than a stethoscope!

The imaging system is being developed by Butterfly Network, a three-year old company that Rothberg says is the furthest advanced of several ventures that will be coming out of 4Combinator, an incubator he has created to start and finance companies that combine medical sensors with a branch of artificial intelligence sciences.

“The vision for this product has been around for many years”, says Richard Przybyla. “It remains to be seen whether someone can make it into a market-validated reality.”

To read more on the MIT Technology Review – click here

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4th Annual Economic Forum

CTTMA, ACG CT, and CVG proudly present – the 4th Annual Economic Forum

Program Panels:ACG Connecticut

  • Economic Round table – Is the Sky Really Falling or is the Ground Just Rising Up?
  • From Cradle to Grave & Everything in Between – A practical guide to running & funding a business in Connecticut

Program Agenda:

  • 3:00pm  Check-In
  • 3:30pm  Panel: Economic Roundtable
  • 4:30pm  Panel: From Cradle to Grave
  • 5:45pm  Congressman’s Keynote Address and Q&A
  • 6:30pm  Cocktail Reception/Buffet Dinner with Congressman

When: November 25 | 3:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: Fairfield University – Dolan School of Business | Fairfield
Cost: Early Bird – $100, $25 for students (ends 11/7), General registration – $130, $35 for students
Registration closes November 21 at noon. 

Learn More | Register

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2014 MoneyTree Q3 Report

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(List of Largest VC Investments in Connecticut – Click on image to view)

Great news! Venture capitalists invested $9.9 billion in 1,023 deals in the third quarter of 2014, according to the MoneyTree™ Report from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data provided by Thomson Reuters. Quarterly venture capital (VC) investment declined 27 percent in terms of dollars and 9 percent in the number of deals, compared to the second quarter when $13.5 billion was invested in 1,129 deals.

Elizabeth “Liddy” Karter, Executive Director of Crossroads Venture Group, stated that “the continued strong investment trends in CT companies has kept CT in the top 10 of all states for Venture Capital dollars invested. It is no surprise that there have been [significant investments] in life science companies, many of which are connected in some way to Yale. The exciting increase in commercial companies growing in CT is providing plenty of great opportunities for investors. The most recent $100M invested in Butterfly Networks in Guilford CT is the latest evidence that CT provides a fabulous environment for inventors and investors to build our future.”

Overall, the Software industry continues to receive the highest level of funding of all industries, despite being down for the quarter. Venture capitalists invested $3.7 billion during the third quarter of 2014, down 39 percent compared to the second quarter when total venture investment into the Software industry reached $6.1 billion.

Overall, investments in Q3 in the Life Sciences sector (Biotechnology and Medical Devices combined) fell 35 percent in dollars and 6 percent in deals when compared to Q2 2014. The Biotechnology industry captured the third largest total during the quarter with $1.1 billion going into 110 deals, down 43 percent in dollars invested and 10 percent in deals from the prior quarter.

“The continued strong investment trends in CT companies has kept CT in the top 10 of all states for Venture Capital dollars invested,” says Liddy Karter, Executive Director of Crossroads Venture Group. “It is no surprise that 605 of those dollars are invested in life science companies and most of those companies are connected in some way to Yale. The exciting increase in commercial companies growing in CT is providing plenty of great opportunities for investors. The most recent $100M invested in Butterfly Networks in Guilford CT is the latest evidence that CT provides a fabulous environment for inventors and investors to build our future.”

Read more on MoneyTree 2014 Q3 Report Findings – Q3 2014 Report

Figure 1 - pwc report (1)

Figure 1 - pwc report (2)

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Access to Capital

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A panel discussion answering today’s varied non-bank lending questions:

  • How they can help your business?
  • When they are the right choice to provide capital?
  • What type of borrowing is appropriate?
  • What are the lending products these new players are offering?
  • How can you improve your chances for success?

Join this lender panel to better determine which options are best for you in an unregulated market

Don’t miss the second panel which will feature three local businesses who will share their stories.

When: Friday, November 14 | 8am – 10am
Where: Sheraton Stamford Hotel | Stamford
Cost: $30
Breakfast is included 

Event Agenda:

7:45 – 8:00 am | Registration + Light Breakfast/Refreshments
8:05 – 8:15 am | Welcome 
8:15 – 8:45 am | New Products from New Players (Non Bank Lenders) 
8:45 – 9:30 am | Show Me the Money: How local small businesses sourced capital
9:30 – 10:00 am | Networking + Coffee

Learn More | Register

 

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Cleantech Open Innovation Expo and Awards Gala

The Innovation Expo and Awards Gala is the best opportunity to celebrate cleantech entrepreneurship, meet cutting-edge startups from around the northeast, network with cleantech investors, mentors and professionals, and listen to pitches from the top 8 startups. clean tech open

When: Tuesday, October 28 | 4pm – 9:30pm
Where: Boston School of Management – Boston University | Boston MA
Cost: $30

Event Agenda:

  • 4:00pm – 9:30pm | Innovation Showcase (on-going)
  • 4:30pm – 6:30pm | 10-minute Live Pitches (Regional Final Judging Round)
  • 7:00pm – 9:30pm | Awards Ceremony & Networking Reception

Register

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CI – Backed Cloud Security Company Sold for $233M

British defense and security giant BAE Systems claims it will pay $232.5 million in order to acquire Milford cloud security provider SilverSky, a company  that has received support from Connecticut Innovations.

CI participated in a $4 million investment round in SilverSky in 2000, according to Crunchbase, which said the company has raised $108 million total.

SilverSky said it has more than 5,500 customers across a wide array of industries including but not limited to retail, healthcare, and financial.

The acquisition is intended to grow the cyber security business, according to BAE Systems.

Details on any returns CI will receive as a result of it’s investment are not currently available.

Read More from the Hartford Business Journal

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